International News - Issue 199

Anelka Sacked By West Brom
West Bromwich Albion have sacked Nicolas Anelka for ‘gross misconduct’ after he said he was leaving the club on Twitter. The club released a statement saying that Anelka’s decision to quit was not legally sound and they have now sacked him instead. Anelka has been suspended and banned from training over his controversial ‘quenelle’ goal celebration against West Ham on December 28. The club stated that he would have had his club suspension lifted if he had apologised to the club, its supporters, sponsors and the wider community and paid a substantial fine. - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Manchester United legend Eric Cantona was arrested and cautioned for common assault on a photographer in London last week. It is unclear whether the victim will press charges against the former Man United star. Cantona was convicted of assault in 1995 after planting a kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan.  - Full Story via Daily Mail

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has been found guilty of tax evasion and sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in jail. Hoeness was charged with dodging 3.5 million euros ($4.85 million) in taxes through an undeclared Swiss bank account. During the trial it came out through an examination of documents he provided that he owed 27.2 million euros in total. German news agency dpa reported prosecutors demanded 5 1/2 years and his defence was looking for a suspension of sentence on probation, arguing that he had turned himself in for tax evasion and provided details to the court.  - Full Story via IOL Sport

Arsenal attacker Mesut Ozil has been ruled out for "at least a few weeks" after injuring his hamstring in the 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League last Tuesday night. Ozil was substituted at half-time of the tie after an underwhelming outing at the Allianz Arena, with Bayern going on to advance 3-1 on aggregate to the quarter-finals of the competition. Ozil's teammate Jack Wilshere was last week ruled out for a month and a half after suffering a foot injury whilst playing for England.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is hopeful he can keep Gerard Deulofeu at the club, with the 19-year-old's loan deal from Barcelona set to expire at the end of the season. Deulofeu, who has made 15 Premier League outings this campaign, last week expressed a desire to return to the Nou Camp in an interview with Catalunya Radio. Martinez, however, feels Deulofeu's comments were taken out of context. "I think he was taken out of context.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Arsenal are reportedly lining up a summer move for Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter, with Premier League rivals Manchester United also eyeing the defender. Ginter’s impressive performances in the Bundesliga this season have seen him awarded his first full Germany cap earlier this month and attracted the attentions of both Man United and Arsenal. But it is currently the Gunners who are thought to be leading the chase for the highly-rated 20-year-old, who is expected to fetch around £8m in the summer transfer window.  - Full Story via Metro

Liverpool and Chelsea could be set to battle it out for the signing of Hoffenheim’s Roberto Firmino after scouts from both clubs watched him score against Mainz at the weekend. Reports in German newspaper Bild state the Premier League duo were keeping a close eye on the midfielder during Saturday’s 4-2 defeat and were impressed by his display.  - Full Story via Metro

Jose Mourinho says referee Chris Foy should not be allowed to take charge of another Chelsea game, following the dismissals of Willian, Ramires and Mourinho himself during last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa. The Brazilian duo both received second-half red cards at Villa Park, before the Blues boss was sent to the stands in added time after Fabian Delph’s 82nd-minute winner. And now the Portuguese, who tried unsuccessfully to speak with Foy after the encounter, says referee chiefs should carefully consider whether to allow him to officiate future Chelsea games.  - Full Story via Metro

Wayne Rooney called it one of his worst days in football and Steven Gerrard admitted Liverpool were upset they had ‘only’ won 3-0 as David Moyes’ Manchester United reign suffered another debilitating blow. Gerrard scored twice from the spot – and missed a third penalty – before Luis Suarez put the seal on a famous Liverpool victory which was even more emphatic than the scoreline suggested. United played 15 minutes with ten men after Nemanja Vidic was red-carded and felt the second penalty was harsh but they could have no excuses after a game in which they were totally outplayed.  - Full Story via Metro

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge and West Ham boss Sam Allardyce have been named the Premier League player and manager of the month respectively for February. Sturridge scored five goals and registered two assists last month as he helped the Reds win three out of four games, including a 5-1 demolition of title rivals Arsenal. Allardyce, meanwhile, guided the Hammers to four consecutive victories - over Swansea City, Aston Villa, Norwich City and Southampton - to lift the club to mid-table. - Full Story via Kickoff

Tottenham Hotspur boss Tim Sherwood feels the club can take a leaf out of Liverpool's book by thinking long-term, with a top-four finish looking increasingly unlikely for the north Londoners this season. Spurs' 1-0 loss to visiting Arsenal on Sunday leaves them fifth on the Premier League table with 53 points from 30 games - seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, who have played three less matches.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Unhappy footballers wore brown paper bags over their heads in an official club photograph in protest at not being paid their wages. The 18 players at Celaya, who play in Mexico’s second division, are furious they have not been paid for two months. They drew peso signs on the bags along with the words ‘pay me’ after losing their patience over the non-payments. They then posed for an official photograph with the bags over the heads in front of the directors’ box before Saturday’s home game with Merida.  - Full Story via Metro

David Moyes’ week appears to be going from bad to worse after reports suggested Manchester United striker Robin van Persie and coach Phil Neville have sent their sons to join Manchester City’s academy. Shaqueel van Persie and Harvey Neville, both 11, are said to have signed up with United’s city rivals. The speculation comes on the same day as Everton’s U18 manager Kevin Sheedy is said to have attacked Moyes’ youth policies on Twitter, though he later deleted his posts, and less than 24 hours after United’s embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Liverpool.  - Full Story via Metro

Manchester United fans may finally have a reason to smile after bookmakers Betfred announced they will refund all bets placed on David Moyes’ side retaining their Premier League title this season, after they labelled the side ‘useless’. The decision is set to cost the bookies, which originated in Salford, around £200,000. But co-founder Fred Done says it was one he had to take as supporters never stood a fair chance of winning thanks to the performances of Moyes and his players this season, culminating in the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool.  - Full Story via Metro

Liverpool’s hopes of signing Yevhen Konoplyanka in the summer transfer window have taken a hit after Dnipro’s president was quoted as saying he would rather sell the winger to Tottenham, having criticised the late nature of the Reds’ January approach. Reports in the Ukrainian press state Igor Kolomoisky is currently in negotiations with Spurs over his prized 24-year-old, who played at White Hart Lane in the Europa League, despite Liverpool only narrowly missing out on Konoplyanka in the winter window.  - Full Story via Metro

Andre Villas-Boas has been announced as the new boss of Russian side Zenit St Petersburg, signing a two-year deal with the club. The Portuguese makes his return to management three months after his departure from Tottenham, having also previously been dismissed by Chelsea.  - Full Story via Metro